NEW YORK – Manu Ginobili’s legend grew a bit longer with a bizarre 3-point shot during the Spurs-Knicks game on Tuesday night in New York.
Midway through the third quarter, Ginobili lobbed a pass inside the paint to LaMarcus Aldridge, but the ball went through the basket instead.
New York forward Michael Beasley retrieved the ball as if it had missed the basket entirely and started to dribble to the Knicks' end of the court.
Ginobili, clearly shocked he was not given credit for the basket, tried to get the attention of the referees, but to no avail.
"I went crazy because once you make a shot like that you want it to count," Ginobili said during a postgame interview on Fox Sports Southwest.
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Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich protested to the referees as well, but jokingly admitted after the game he did not see the ball go through the basket.
“I did not, in all honestly. I did not,” Popovich said. “Then everybody started grabbing me and saying the ball went in. I said, 'Yeah, the ball went in!' I acted like I knew what was going on.''
The referees reviewed the play during a game stoppage and gave Ginobili credit for a 2-point basket, but looked at it again at the end of the quarter and changed it to a 3-pointer.
“It was very awkward, but common sense, I guess. The refs reviewed it and we got it,” Ginobili said.
Ginobili finished with 12 points as the Spurs beat the Knicks 100-91 to improve to 26-12.
The play now lives in the Manu Ginobili lore along with wild game-winning shots, catching a live bat at the AT&T Center during a game, and all-around entertaining play.
Ginobili also had fans at famed Madison Square Garden chanting his name throughout the game. They got the opportunity to see Ginobili’s so-called “Phantom Shot.”
"I've been working on it for a long time. I finally was able to take it," Ginobili jokingly said after the game. "I just threw it up because (Aldridge) was being fronted. I had to do it quick and I guess I threw it too hard. And it went perfectly."
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 3, 2018